She needs you to be involved.
Too many times, dads relegate the task of being involved with “girl things” to mom. Your role to be involved in your kid’s life doesn’t end at the baseball field. Go to her dance class and take pictures. Get excited with her about her new doll and get on the floor to play house. Be involved with your daughter, in her world and on her level.
She needs you to demonstrate what a healthy marriage looks like.
She is going to learn much of what she knows about marriage and the relationship between girls and boys from watching you and her mommy. Therefore, demonstrate for her what a healthy marriage looks like. This means leading mom, helping mom, serving mom, loving mom, being affectionate with mom, taking mom on dates, praying with and for mom, being grateful for mom, honoring and celebrating mom.
She needs you to support her.
Financially. Get a job and keep it. Show her what it means to support her financially, so that she has that expectation in her future husband. Emotionally. When she decides to step out in faith and make a big decision to pursue something, be her biggest cheerleader. Relationally. Spend time with other families and friends that are good role models for your daughter. Spiritually. Join a bible preaching, mission minded, Jesus centered church that she will be able to connect and grow in.
She needs to be able to trust you as a confidant.
Your daughter needs to be able to trust that she can confide in you with things that she wouldn’t tell anyone else. This means that sometimes you might have to ask questions to let her know that you’re interested in knowing what’s going on with her mentally and emotionally. Start early to create an open line of communication between the both of you. This needs to happen early and regularly.
She needs your unconditional love.
Your daughter is going to mess up. She is going to make wrong decisions. In those moments, she needs her dad to love her unconditionally. Pull her close and tell her that you love her, even when it is hard to love her. When you love her differently based upon her lifestyle at the moment or by the decisions she is making, you are essentially telling her that your love is conditional and contingent upon her actions. Love your daughter unconditionally.
She needs a strong spiritual leader.
You are the pastor of your home. Know that this will look differently for you than others depending on the natural flow of your family life. It is not so important on what this looks like as it is to be sure all of the necessary elements are there. Note that “leading” does NOT necessarily mean that you are the front person – always praying and teaching – but you are leading and teaching them to do those things. Leading means that you are responsible for the spiritual well being of your daughter. The success of your leadership is not measured against how well you do those things, but it is measured against how well those you are leading do those things. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make sure prayer is happening, bible study is happening, giving is happening, conversations about Jesus and the Gospel are happening, and that mission is happening. Lead your daughter spiritually.
She needs you to point her towards Jesus.
Our culture is at war with you for your daughter’s heart. She needs you to guard her heart and to point her continually towards Jesus. She will be pointed in many directions and if she doesn’t have solid direction from dad she will follow someone else that will lead, in your absence.